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Posts Tagged ‘Nam-e-amal’

Backbiting and Ungratefulness

March 9, 2012 Leave a comment

New lecture, reader(s)!

Listen Here: “Backbiting and Ungratefulness” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

I love Shaykh Zulfiqar’s talks, he delivers them with such passion, love, and empathy that only a dead heart would dislike them. I’m sorry to those who do not speak Urdu because there’s no way I do justice to the meaning of his talks in my translations. Aside from the spiritual meaning, it’s also interesting to hear his criticisms of the Pakistani culture. Hearing these I’m usually glad to be living in America (this doesn’t mean I don’t love Pakistan!) where there are less social constraints and an entire sub culture of people who pride themselves on not caring what others think. It’s usually the preoccupation with what others think that creates bad character within us. This sort of thinking is why we like to put ourselves above others, Shaykh Zulfiqar explained in this talk how we like to hear our compliments and not those of others.

He often referred to the infamous mother-in-law and daughter-in-law feud that exists in Pakistani culture and around the world, as a d-i-l the woman claims her m-i-l is evil and when she becomes a m-i-l, her d-i-l is evil (the beauty of Urdu is that I can say these relationships in one word rather than three.) This indignant ungratefulness to the people around you lends itself easily to backbiting, and whoever isn’t appreciative and grateful to the people isn’t thankful to Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ either.

The people of  Prophet Musa عليه السلام asked him, “How do we know if Allah is disconcerted or content with us?” Prophet Musa عليه السلام was told by Allah to tell his people, “Look into your own hearts, if you are content with me, I am content with you, if you have complaints against me, I have complaints against you.” Look at our hearts, we are always dissatisfied with our circumstances, we always wonder and complain why we didn’t get this or that. If you are happy even when Allah gives you little, then Allah will be happy with you on the Day of Judgement when you present Him with few good deeds (Amazing!).

On that day, the people we spoke ill of will get a chance to take whatever they want from our nam-e-amal (list of our deeds). And the poorest of people on that day won’t be those who did no good in the world, but those who earned many virtues and lost them all because they didn’t respect people and couldn’t control their tongues.

May Allah help us to develop our character and may we always be grateful to Him, in times of both hardship and happiness. Ameen.

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Earning Virtues (Part 1)

October 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Listen Here:Earning Virtues” by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad

This is a lecture by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad, and it’s in Urdu so certain things will be lost in translation. He started by discussing an interesting story about Prophet Ibrahim that I hadn’t heard before. When he was a young boy he saw the stars and thought that his prayers should be for something as beautiful as the stars and deemed them his lord. Then, he noticed the moon and saw that it was bigger, brighter and more beautiful. He then claimed the moon to be lord. When the moon set and the sun rose, he saw that the sun was even greater and brighter. After trying to make these things the object of his worship, he realized that he couldn’t pray to something or love it when it wasn’t always there. Neither the sun or the moon is visible the whole day. This was the start of his realization of Allah, a powerful ever present creator.

In the same way, we shouldn’t love the fleeting things of this world: youth, beauty, wealth, status, fashion. They are passing and not worth our true love. When we have love for Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ we are creating a bond of loyalty, something we can always rely on and will never disappoint us.

Our love for our Creator should motivate us to continually do good deeds for Him. We should always worry ourselves with doing good deeds, earning virtues. It should be so that our bodies are exhausted from the good works we do. We should be competing in doing good with others out of our deep love for Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎. Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎ loves it when we sacrifice to please Him (give up some sleep to pray tahajjud).

Once we make Allahسبحانه و تعالى‎ ours, the entire world will be ours. Once we love Him, all the people of the world will love us. Allah سبحانه و تعالى‎  places respect in the eyes of the people for those that He loves. Instead of sharing it with others, tell Him all your stories, your pain, your happiness. You have to keep Him in your mind at all times and create a deep connection, when you always think of Him, you’ll find that He’s ever close to YOU.

Imagine if someone wanted the reward of doing something without actually doing it, you would say that’s ridiculous right? But that’s the nature of Allah’s سبحانه و تعالى‎ mercy, the person who restrains himself from sin throughout the day will receive the reward of tahajjud while he’s in his sleep. If we protect our tongues, we get the reward of fasting the day. The one who has no wealth but wants his name between the sadaqa-givers should spread his knowledge to others.

The idea of doing good should always be on our minds, when we entertain bad thoughts they develop into something more and begin to take seed in our hearts. We have to recognize the desires of our nafs and see it as an enemy. We have to know when the enemy is attacking.

Ultimately there’s no great endeavor we have to undertake in order to be wali (friend) of Allah. The one who wants to be a wali of Allah should love for his fellow human what he loves for himself. Just as you wouldn’t want others to blame you or backbite you, you shouldn’t do it to others.

According to a hadith by the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم this saying will weigh heavy on our nam-e-amal (list of deeds):

Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi Subhan-Allahil-azeem:

  • Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم said, “There are two statements that are light for the tongue to remember, heavy in the Scales and are dear to the Merciful: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi, Subhan-Allahil-Azim [Glory be to Allah and His is the praise, (and) Allah, the Greatest is free from imperfection)’.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

To be continued…